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Common blunder in Paul Daugherty/USA Today column

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Double Espresso, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. After all we've learned, it's baffling to see this "reasoning" still out there, especially from a quality columnist:

    On A-Rod:

    "He said he hasn't juiced since 2003. Barring more failed tests, there is no reason not to believe him."

    Let's write it three times on the blackboard:

    A negative test result means next-to-nothing because the drug science runs years ahead of the testing science, so that no test exists for many of the drugs-of-the-moment.

    A negative test result means next-to-nothing because the drug science runs years ahead of the testing science, so that no test exists for many of the drugs-of-the-moment.

    A negative test result means . . .

    OK, OK.

    It's just that it's stunning to see this thinking - and the but-he-never-failed-a-test nonsense - still winding its way through good minds and good editors. Maybe too many of the editors in the reading sequence have been laid off.
  2. Honesty Kills

    Honesty Kills New Member

    But going along with that thought-line..... nobody is innocent. Because everyone can bypass the tests.... I don't know if i can look at it that way, and still respect the sport.

    Personally, i'm over steroids.
  3. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    What part of innocent until proven guilty escaped you in civics class?

    And personally, I'm over steroids, too. One of the few things I agreed with in Will Leitch's book was that it's stupid to go batshit over anabolic steroids while Scott Rolen can get shot up with cortisone, go play and the crowd cheers.
  4. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    The gist of the column was that he's over steroids, the game has never been pure as the driven snow anyway, play ball. It wasn't about the science of drug testing.
  5. lantaur

    lantaur Active Member

    Paul Daugherty is an egomaniacal idiot. His logic is usually faulty. His Adam Dunn columns were laughable.
  6. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Active Member

    Spare me the PC-posturing, too, on the "pre-1947" and "post-1947" eras of baseball, as if the players involved were the ones dictating the terms of integration. Besides, was it only the Josh Gibsons and Satchel Paiges who were kept out? Might there have been a few black players who yielded home runs or struck out on occasion, who weren't certain HOFers and better than all the apparent racist white guys on rosters?

    Also, anyone who knows baseball with the authority required to sermonize as in this column should know that Ty Cobb was an early investor in Coca-Cola, so drinking root beer probably wouldn't have been his preference. ;)

    It's fallacious to treat steroids and Gaylord Perry's spitball as analogous forms of cheating, too. The former jeopardizes health and puts competing players at an unfair disadvantage on the field and at the negotiating table. The latter is done under the scrutiny of the umps and allegedly was rarely thrown anyway.

    There's a lot of fail in that column. Mostly, it was unpersuasive, a particularly bad failure for a columnist.
  7. zagoshe

    zagoshe Well-Known Member

    Yes, yes because it is far more of a black mark on baseball that a bunch of guys used foreign substances and hurt only their own health in the process than the fact that for the first 60 or so years of its existence the game institutionally and repeatedly banned people because of the color of their skin.

    I see, yes, that makes sense.

    And don't tell me the league wasn't watered down before 1947 when you consider that at least half -- when you consider foreigners and latinos -- the talent pool was excluded.
  8. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Active Member

    Equating steroids cheats and an institutional issue like baseball's lack of integration is apples and oranges. It's a cheap tactic to pull that into the discussion, a PC thought-snuffer. You might want to change the debate to the relative black marks on baseball, but the issue of the day/week is steroids use, A-Rod specifically, and how that impacts the game, record books, etc.

    Baseball failing to address racial prejudice in its team owners and baseball failing to institute proper anti-drug policies -- OK, that's kind of parallel. But that's not why most fans object to steroid users. They're mad at the players who cheat. So who was mad at the major leaguers who played in pre-1947 baseball for the owners' decision to stay all-white? See, it doesn't track.

    "City Hall used to make blacks drink from separate drinking fountains, so by God, it's OK for people to cheat on their taxes now." Huh?

    By the way, there were Latin players in the big leagues well before Jackie Robinson got there. I'm not sure how much the talent pool was watered down, either, when there were only 16 major league teams, no NFL or NBA to speak of as options for professional athletes and enough minor leaguers stacked up to fill levels all the way down to Class D or so.
  9. zagoshe

    zagoshe Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry - the protectors of the integrity of the game -- the ones who have no problem with racists like Kennesaw Mountain Landis being in the Hall of fame but draw the line at a gambler and a few guys who took roids -- are frauds.

    There is no such thing as integrity in a game with the history of racism that this game has.
  10. C'mon Shotty, you're smarter than that. Innocent until proven guilty applies to the court system, not the court of public opinion.
  11. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    I just wish more people would realize that steroids weren't new to the game in the 90s. This wasn't our first "Steroid Era."
  12. broadway joe

    broadway joe Guest

    There's nothing faulty about Daugherty's reasoning. If A-Rod hasn't failed a test since '03, there is no reason, i.e. evidence, suggesting he's still using. It's not incontrovertible proof that he's clean, because as you say, the science of steroids is constantly advancing. But the fact remains that if the guy has passed all his tests since then, there's nothing that indicates he's on the juice.
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